Mike Trout is having another MVP-caliber season and a litany of statistics will tell you that. RBI is somewhere around 15th on the list of statistics that illustrate just how good Trout has been. Trout’s league-leading total of 100 (98 of which have come as a #2 hitter) does provide some historical context, however.
As MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez notes, only eight #2 hitters (including Alex Rodriguez twice) have reached triple digits in RBI. Here’s the list, via Baseball Reference:
It makes sense why this doesn’t happen more often: #2 hitters rarely have Trout’s power. Often, they’re high-contact hitters and bunt at a higher rate than anyone else aside from the pitcher in the National League. Even Angels manager Mike Scioscia admits Trout is an atypical #2 hitter. From Gonzalez’s column:
“There’s no doubt this guy’s a multidimensional player. He’s not just a table-setter. I think eventually when he settles into the middle of the lineup and he has [teammates] on-base in front of him, he’ll have the potential to knock in 120 runs.”
Along with the 100 rib-eyes, Trout has a .285/.369/.549 slash line with 31 home runs and 14 stolen bases. While he won’t have to contend with Miguel Cabrera for the AL MVP award this time around, the field is relatively more wide open, as Victor Martinez and Jose Abreu have each put up fantastic numbers themselves. Depending on one’s trust in defensive metrics, Alex Gordon and Josh Donaldson will draw some support as well, among others.